Last week, I went to New Orleans for the first time. Ivan had a work conference and I decided to tag along. Ive always wanted to go and it was the perfect opportunity to explore the city.
We stayed at the Canal Street Marriott right in the French Quarter. It was the perfect location – I was able to easily walk to everywhere in the French Quarter and we had a street car stop right outside our hotel.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? It’s a city unlike anything I’ve seen before. Granted, we didn’t get to venture out of the quarter, so I can’t speak to what the rest of the city is like. The french quarter though, is a very unique place.
I took a tour of the area with Free Tour By Foot, which I highly suggest. My guide was incredibly knowledge and the city has such a colorful history. We talked about pirates, music, criminals, architecture, debutants and more.
We did take a walk down Bourbon street one night and I did indulge in a hurricane. We also tried a variety of local beers during our visit and a few different frozen fruit drinks. One thing that is unique about New Orleans is that you can walk the streets while drinking alcohol.
It’s got to be in a can or a plastic cup, but the bars all have plastic cups to give you. You can just walk up to a bar and ask for a drink to go and then walk out. It’s very strange. It was kind of nice strolling around while nursing a beer though.
They also shut off a few blocks of Royal street and Bourbon street every day at eleven for street musicians and performers. The police setup barricades so cars can’t pass through and the performers and pedestrians walk the streets.
The Spanish are the ones that instituted the fire code that required the buildings be made of brick and iron and that they hug the streets. This was done to make it easier for the firefighters to reach the fires from the street incase of an emergency. This is also why everyone has those gorgeous balconies. The strict fire code did not allow for patios or porches on the ground level, so they built them above the streets.
Because Ivan was at a conference, I had all day to wander around the city. One of my favorite stops was the French Market district. The French Market is the oldest open air market in the country and it’s a definite must see. The area is incredibly lively and there is a ton of amazing food to be had. I’m doing a separate post on the truly delicious food we ate in New Orleans soon.
I also picked up the cutest ornaments for my collection at a shop in the area. We collect them from places we visit, I just have to come up with a fun way display the year round.
My favorite place that I visited was Louis Armstrong Park. It’s on the edge of the quarter, but it’s easily accessible through the street car. Plus, it’s not a long walk from most of the hotels in the area. It’s a large park and I visited on a beautiful sunny day.
Guys, I’m a such a huge Louis Armstrong fan. I get it from my father and grandma. My Great Grandpa and Great Uncles were all musicians – my great uncle Lou was even named after Louis Armstrong.
The grounds are simply gorgeous and the whole place was incredibly peaceful. There were maybe 10 people in the entire park, just lounging around in the shade. If I lived in New Orleans, I’d spend so much time hanging out there.
I had such a fantastic time in New Orleans, I’d definitely add it to your list. Early April was a great time to go – we missed the crowds and the weather was perfect. I’m not sure I’d want to be there in the height of summer, it was already 80 degrees and humid in April.
Linking up with Lindsay for Tuesday Talk